Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to the Government’s decision to abandon plans to use private finance to procure rolling stock for Crossrail, said:
“This is yet another humiliating transport shambles. Labour has spent two years urging Ministers to learn the lessons from the botched Thameslink contract, which saw trains for London being built in Germany, and instead fund them in a way that secures the best deal for the taxpayer. Ministers must now ensure that this public spending delivers jobs in the UK, just as Labour did for the new generation of Intercity trains which are to be constructed in the North East.
“By waiting until the last minute before they were due to confirm the final shortlist of two companies, Ministers have put at risk the timetable for delivery of these trains. As this order needs to be placed in just over a year from now if the rolling stock is to be delivered by 2017, it would be the ultimate embarrassment if Crossrail were to be completed but unable to open because the trains have not arrived in time.
“The Government must come clean and admit how much tax-payers money was wasted on the abandoned model of procurement and whether they will be forced to compensate bidders for their own additional costs, adding to the £50 million of taxpayers’ money paid out to train companies following the collapse of the West Coast franchise competition.”<div>